NBC’s classic series Saved by the Bell is one of the most iconic children’s series from the 90s. While the original series only ran for four seasons over four years, it remains today a favorite among audiences of all ages. It is even in syndication on Me-TV to this day, and went on to have a short-lived after life of sorts in the form of “The College Years” and its related movies. While all of that content has been released in one way or another over the years, they have never been collected in one full collection until now. Thanks to the people at Shout! Factory, all of that content has finally received a complete collection release in the form of Saved By The Bell: The Complete Collection. Released Oct. 2, the 16-disc DVD collection takes audiences from the series’ infancy in Good Morning, Miss Bliss right up through the college years and SBTB movies. That content collection is just one of the most important of the collection’s elements to discuss. Just as important to note as the overall content is the bonus content presented in the collection. It will be discussed a little later. The set’s packaging rounds out its most important elements. Each item is important in its own way, as will be pointed out here. All things considered, truly devoted fans of SBTB will agree that Shout! Factory’s latest SBTB collection is the best of the show’s collections to date.
Shout! Factory’s new 16-disc Saved By The Bell box set is a collection that the series’ most devoted fans will agree is the best collection to be released from the series to date. That is due in part to the fact that it actually does contain the complete run of the original SBTB series. That includes Saved By The Bell’s predecessor, Good Morning, Miss Bliss the four-season run of SBTB and SBTB’s follow-ups in the form of The College Years and the series’ “movies,” which officially marked the end of the original series. This culling of the original series’ material in one place marks the first time ever that the entire original Saved By The Bell series has been placed in one setting. For those who might want to be snarky, and make statements about the spinoff from Saved By The Bell, SBTB: The New Class, that series was its own series, which lasted for seven seasons. Keeping that in mind, this set is still a complete set, making it fully deserving of praise, along with those at Shout! Factory who worked to get the distribution rights to the original franchise. Now considering all of this, true devotees of the series will agree that the set’s average price point of $46 is relatively affordable. That is especially the case when one considers that breadth of content along with the bonus material included in the set’s recent release. That bonus material is just as important to discuss as the primary content.
The bonus content include with the set is extensive to say the very least. From the standard picture galleries to the featurettes and documentaries, audiences are treated to a bevy of bonuses. The most prominent of the bonus documentaries is the brand new documentary “Past Times at Bayside High: Making Saved By The Bell.” This roughly half hour documentary presents an in-depth discussion by the show’s creative heads about the series’ history and importance. Even the most devout fans of SBTB might find themselves surprised to learn, for instance, that SBTB’s predecessor, Good Morning, Miss Bliss actually was meant to focus on star Hailey Mills, not her students. On a related note, audiences will be just as interested to learn that none other than Disney (yes, Disney) played its own key part in that series leading to the creation of SBTB and in turn, the change in focus from the teachers to the students. Staying on that note, another interesting revelation made in this documentary is that SBTB’s key tween and teen female target audience focus actually started out entirely by chance. How that happened will be left for audiences to discover for themselves. As if that is not enough, audiences will be even more surprised at the discussion on how the cast was chosen, and the cultural significance of said casting. That discussion is one of the most crucial because as is pointed out, most people probably have never thought about the importance of the cultural diversity in the cast, and its influence in casting for so many of today’s children’s series (and series in general). Between all of the noted discussions and others not directly noted here, it can be said with certainty that Past Times at Bayside High gives audiences more than enough to appreciate in considering the set’s bonus materials. Of course it is just one of the bonus features included in the set. The documentary focusing on the show’s music and the older, shorter featurettes featured alongside those two new bonuses add their own share of insight and entertainment for viewers. When all of the bonus featurettes and docs are considered together, the insight and entertainment that they collectively supply viewers just as much to appreciate as the set’s primary content. Keeping this in mind, the primary and secondary content presented in this box set make the set complete in every sense of the word. The set’s packaging does just as much as the content to make the set complete.
The packaging of SBTB: The Complete Collection is important to note because of its own presentation, Good Morning, Miss Bliss is packaged in its own two-disc box, while SBTB is split into three separate boxes, the first two containing the series’ four primary seasons. The third box contains the college years and SBTB movies. On the back of each box is an episode listing complete with episode title and original air date. That listing is complimented by a bonus companion booklet outlining the episodes along with a brief but concise summary for each episode. There is even an explanation early in the booklet about the order of the episodes and the cast’s ages as well as an introduction outlining Good Morning, Miss Bliss’ place in the history of SBTB. As if that is not enough, the companion booklet also outlines which episodes come with bonus feature-length audio commentary and who provides said commentary. When all of this is considered in whole, the packaging of this set shows clearly why it is just as important to discuss in examining the set as the content. When this is considered along with the primary and secondary content presented in the collection, the whole of that content and packaging even more so makes the box set truly complete, and honestly, one of the year’s top new family box sets.
Shout! Factory’s recently released box set Saved By The Bell: The Complete Collection is an anthology that definitely lives up to its title. That is proven in part, as discussed here, through the primary content presented across the set. The primary content presented is the full, true complete run of Saved By The Bell from start to end, including the series complete predecessor and the items that followed. The secondary content (I.E. the bonus content) strengthens the foundation formed through the primary content, adding even more for audiences to appreciate. The packaging adds its own content to appreciate in the episode listing, companion booklet and actual physical packaging. Each of the items, as listed, is crucial in its own way to the whole of Saved By The Bell: Complete Collection. All things considered, they make the set a collection that truly is complete in every sense of the word. That completion makes the set one of this year’s top new family box sets. It is available now and can be ordered online direct via Shout! Factory’s online store. More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:
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